When I started this marathon job of summarising the governors’ statutory responsibilities, I felt a bit guilty that I have been a governor for two years and hadn’t actually read the Guide to the Law. Now, six hours plus later, and only three quarters of the way through, I am guessing that most governors haven’t read it, but just refer to it when necessary. That said, I have found two or three areas that our GB needs to brush up on (for example a couple of policies that are not on the website, so nothing major), and I have been reminded about parent councils – something that I have blogged on before and think would be valuable to our school.

Anyway, if it can save other governors time, here is part 5, with part 6 (hopefully the final part) to come tomorrow.

18) Equal Opportunities: Governors must ensure that the school acts with fairness and with regard to equality in everything it does. This is with regard to all of the following:

  • race
  • disability
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • religion or belief
  • age (in relation to employment)

Schools must have a written policy on race equality. This must be assessed and monitored with regard to its impact on the attainment of different racial groups of pupils. This policy can be combined with other policies, such as an equal opportunities policy.

All racist incidents that take place in the school must be reported to the LA.

Schools must have a disability equality scheme. This must show how the school is aiming to improve access for disabled pupils, staff and parents over time.

19) Parent Councils: In schools where a trust appoints the majority of governors, there must be a parent council made up from parents of children at the school (although it is permissible to have people who are not parents on the council). If possible, this must have members from each year group, each group of pupils who might require special consideration and parent-governors.

Non trust schools can also have parent councils, though this is not statutory. (I’m guessing that it will become so in the not-so-distant future.)